Published March 19, 2022

Ryka Aoki (Light from Uncommon Stars), Micaiah Johnson (The Space Between Worlds), and Lincoln Michel (The Body Scout) discuss the explorations of race, gender, and identity posed in their science fiction and speculative fiction novels, asking what aspects of being human are universal—even for cyborgs, interstellar aliens, and multiverse explorers. In conversation with Emma Ito.

Watch the video from this event:

Thanks to our bookseller for this event, Fountain Bookstore. Attendees and supporters of the Festival are eligible for a 20% discount on speakers’ titles linked above until Thursday, March 31, 2022, using coupon code: YAYVABOOK22

“A kaleidoscopic and riveting symphony… Aoki has conjured the most spellbinding venues to unpack race, sexuality, and class with both ingenuity and heart. A new classic.”―Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone

“Johnson’s world-hopping debut uses science fictional tools and an exciting plot to address urgent questions of privilege and position… A compelling stand-alone debut that will leave readers thrilled, thoughtful, and anticipating the author’s next book.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Lincoln Michel’s debut is a darkly comic, propulsive science fiction thriller. We are all cyborgs now, so the connections here are clear and on point. Play ball!”―Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Ministry of the Future


Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


We appreciate the support of our community partners for helping share information about this event: Dairy Market and the UVA LGBT Committee for Faculty and Staff

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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